KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marcus Peters won over Kansas City Chiefs fans with his play on Sundays, but the club’s decision to trade their two-time Pro Bowl cornerback to the Los Angeles Rams had more to do with the other six days of the week, according to general manager Brett Veach.
“There’s a lot of things, in this job it’s not just the game days on Sunday,” Veach said. “There’s a lot of information that we use in these decisions. They’re tough decisions but you have to just look in the mirror and make decisions that are in the best interest of the team.”
Veach discussed the trade during a press conference Wednesday marking the beginning of the new league year. As of 3 p.m. central time Wednesday, teams are finally free to officially confirm trades and sign free agents for the 2018 season.
The general manager did not elaborate on any specific issue or behavior that led to the club choosing to deal away a player with a league-best 19 interceptions over the past three seasons. But Veach stressed the need for building a young team around a common vision, and Peters clearly no longer fit that future.
“When you process all the information, they’re tough decisions but what you do is you just go,” Veach said. “There’s no second guessing. You make a decision you believe in, you have foundations and core philosophies that you believe yield success. You take all the information and then you just go in that direction and you don’t look back.”
Veach underscored the point that at no time did club chairman and CEO Clark Hunt demand Peters be traded. Peters took to sitting during the national anthem early in the season, and Hunt discussed the issue with young corner. By season’s end, Peters remained in the tunnel off the field away from public view during the national anthem.
“Certainly there was never a mandate given to coach and I and certainly the anthem was never brought up in those discussions,” Veach said.
The club’s personnel leader also dismissed the notion that issues between Peters and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton created a rift.
“Honestly, I didn’t sit in the meeting room with them for me to say exactly what it was,” Veach said. “They made it work. Every player is different and unique and I don’t think any coach comes into a staff room and everyone communicates the same way. But they made it work and it was productive.”
No single dispute served as a final straw for Peters and his time in Kansas City. Instead, Veach said an accumulation of baggage the last three seasons that left the team with no other options.
“This was, again, dialogue that coach and I had and this wasn’t one game, this wasn’t a month, this was three years, a body of work,” Veach explained. “We look for consistency and we felt that this was in the best interest of them.”
Veach said he maintained a regular dialogue with Peters throughout the season. But Veach doesn’t feel the Chiefs failed in the relationship, calling it a learning experience for everyone.
“Every player’s unique, every situation’s unique but you continue to learn and develop and that’s what we’ll do,” Veach said.
The harvest for Peters reflected a diminished market value for a two-time Pro Bowler at the age of 25 with at least three years of club control over his contract. The Chiefs returned a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, the No. 124 pick overall, along with a second-round pick next year. The club also surrendered to the Rams a sixth-round selection this year, No. 209 overall.
That return prompted many fans to argue the Chiefs should grin and bear it, keep Peters and his ball-hawking skills on the field. But Veach made it clear that was no longer an option.
“He’s going to do great things in L.A.,” Veach said. “Happy for him, happy for his family, and like I said, I think at the end of the day everyone is where they need to be.”